Introduction to US History

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For more courses in this subject, please visit the Department of American history.


INTRODUCTION TO US HISTORY I & II
INSTRUCTOR:Geoffrey D. Plourde
This course is a survey of the history of the United States of America, taught at the college level. Due to the massive amount of content involved, this course is separated into two semesters. Semester I (HIST-AM-101) will cover 1492-1865 (Pre-Columbian to American Civil War), and Semester II (HIST-AM-102) will cover 1866-Present (Reconstruction to 200x-ish). As part of this class, we will be designing a US History textbook.

Coursework consists of one assignment and lecture per week, with a final project at the end of each semester. If you are taking this course to prepare for the AP exam, there is some additional coursework focusing on writing skills every four weeks.

Anyone is welcome to follow along and read all the course material. However, those who are taking this course should be motivated and independent learners. While knowledge of US history is beneficial, it is not necessary. Completion of some of the coursework in this class requires a decent command of the English language.

I will not be issuing grades as standard procedure, because I feel there is no single way to accurately measure subject comprehension. If you really want a grade, there are two scales. Regular students' work is graded on the amount of work completed. I would consider anything below 90% an F. Because of the prep nature of AP, I will be grading such students separately. Each assignment will be graded for comprehension (50%) and completion (50%). Any grade below 80% can be considered an F.

I will be available to answer questions. If you need help, post to my talk page or on the course talk page. Alternatively, poke into the IRC channel and ask if I am around. Geo.plrd 03:04, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Course Outline[edit]

The lectures are almost always going to mirror the College Board requirements for an introductory US history course. A link to the topic can be found here [[1]] We will be adapting the wikibook text, US History. Any help would be appreciated.--Jolie 13:47, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Semester I[edit]

  • Week 1:Pre-Columbian America
  • Week 2:The Vikings
  • Week 3:European Exploration in the New World
  • Week 4:Early Colonial Period (1492 - 1607)
  • Week 5:The English Colonies (1607 - 1754)
  • Week 6:Road to Revolution (1754 - 1774)
  • Week 7:The American Revolution (1774 - 1783)
  • Week 8:A New Nation is Formed (1783 - 1787)
  • Week 9:The Early Years of the Constitutional Republic (1787 - 1800)
  • Week 10:Jeffersonian Republicanism (1800 - 1824)
  • Week 11:Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny (1824 - 1849)
  • Week 12:The Indian Tribes of America
  • Week 13:Friction Between the States
  • Week 14:States' Rights
  • Week 15:Secession
  • Week 16:The Civil War (1860 - 1865)

Semester II[edit]

  • Week 17: Reconstruction (1865 - 1877)
  • Week 18: The Age of Invention and the Gilded Age (1877 - 1900)
  • Week 19: The Progressive Era (1900 - 1914)
  • Week 20: World War I and the Treaty of Versailles (1914 - 1920)
  • Week 21: The Roaring Twenties and Prohibition (1920 - 1929)
  • Week 22: The Great Depression and the New Deal (1929 - 1939)
  • Week 23: Spanish Civil War(1936-1939)
  • Week 24: World War II and the Rise of the Atomic Age (1939 - 1945)
  • Week 25: Truman and the Cold War (1945 - 1953)
  • Week 26: Eisenhower, Civil Rights, and the Fifties (1953 - 1961)
  • Week 27: Kennedy and Johnson (1961 - 1969)
  • Week 28: Nixon presidency and Indochina (1969 - 1974)
  • Week 29: Ford, Carter and Reagan presidencies (1974 - 1989)
  • Week 30: Bush and Clinton presidencies,1st Gulf War (1989 - 2000)

Coursework[edit]

Lectures[edit]

I will attempt to post one per week. If I don't, read the relevant chapter of the Wikibook, and Wikipedia. Then do the assignment. Hopefully, once the lectures are complete, I will record them in an audio format.

Weekly Assignment (Every week)[edit]

The lecture for this week provided an overview of a period of US History. Studies have shown that using information increases retention. With that in mind, expand the section of the United States History Wikibook that corresponds to the period of time covered in the lecture.

For extra practice, select an article that relates to this period and improve it one assessment level. You may work with others in small groups, especially if you are attempting to write a GA or FA. You may write an article from scratch, but it must be start class and have one source to fulfill this assignment.

AP Assignment (Every Four Weeks)[edit]

This assignment is for students interested in taking the AP test in May. The Advanced Placement exam is a way for high school students to take a more rigorous course. Students who receive a 3 or higher on the exam will generally get college credit for an introductory course. In the case of US History, those who receive a 4 or 5 generally get credit for two semesters (6-8 credits). This is dependent on each college though. The exam will be 185 minutes and have two sections. The first section is 80 multiple choice questions. The lecture and weekly assignment are designed to provide a solid foundation in this area. The second section is a bit more difficult, as you must write a DBQ paper and two essays in under two hours. This assignment will help in this area.

Over the past four weeks, we have covered several periods of American history. Please answer the following question in essay format. What impact have the periods covered in the last four weeks had on the United States and the world? Defend your answer.

When you are finished, post the essay to my talk page. We then will conference and engage in a dialogue.

Demolition Derby[edit]

The Wikibook on this subject is poorly designed. Rewrite poorly written chapters. Contact Geo.plrd for hard hats, chainsaws, crow bars, and popcorn (virtual).

Students[edit]

Sign up below if interested. This course is an open entry, open exit course.

  • --Jolie 19:31, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Wendi
  • Benjamin
  • Jesse
  • jsmith82
  • kstjames
  • Sófia
  • Dabbler (only interested in second semester, if possible)
  • LadyPirate82
  • Wilfordsy
  • Tvsnow
  • 3volution00
  • Camman 23:17 28 March 2013
  • T_Shipp1
  • jensiegirl
  • --Aaqib talk 16:57, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
  • stixcreatur

Resources[edit]

The following books are resources that can be used to study US History. You do not need to splurge on textbooks. If you have a copy or can acquire one cheap, use them. Otherwise they are a waste of money as I have yet to find a single textbook that accurately portrays US History.

  • US History Wikibook -Free text developed by Wikibooks, missing some areas.
  • The American Pageant. David Kennedy and Lizabeth Cohen. - The most commonly used textbook. If you have a copy, I recommend it as a reference.
  • People's History of the United States. Howard Zinn. - This book focuses on providing an alternative view of history from marginalized viewpoints. Because it is controversial, read it with a grain of salt.
  • CliffsNotes on US History I - Readable online
  • UCCP course - A whole course designed for use by teachers.

United States History Textbook[edit]

This will be a textbook created and improved by students. We will be using this as our reference for this class.

External Links[edit]